New rules approved for O’side nonprofits

OCEANSIDE — Following a San Diego County grand jury audit on MainStreet Oceanside bookkeeping, council unanimously adopted June 17 new financial reporting requirements for all nonprofits that receive city funding.
Nonprofit organization MainStreet Oceanside was questioned about how it spent city funds by community watchdog Donna McGinty, who brought the matter to the grand jury.
MainStreet Oceanside was found out of compliance for the way it reported organization spending. A lack of city guidelines was part of the problem.
“Reporting from the grand jury is not necessarily a bad thing,” Teri Ferro, financial services director, said. “It provides financial reports and shows if we are exercising correctly the city budget.”
New guidelines require nonprofits to submit quarterly financial reports, a year-end report and a third party audit that detail how city funds were spent.
“It took two years of my life,” McGinty said. “I expect it will resolve a whole lot of issues.”
The reporting requirements apply to nonprofits that have a professional service agreement with the city. Currently MainStreet Oceanside, North County Humane Society, California Welcome Center and KOCT Community Television have service agreements with the city.
New reporting requirements do not apply to nonprofit groups that receive one-time city donations.
While a decision stands on the requirements for nonprofits to report spending, council extended the moratorium on the legal operation of medical marijuana dispensaries for another 10 months and 15 days on June 17, due to an upcoming hearing on the matter in Anaheim.
The Qualified Patients Association filed a lawsuit against the city of Anaheim, challenging the city’s ban on dispensaries that is set to go into effect in July. The group says the ban conflicts with state law and violates the civil rights of disabled people.
Oceanside City Council will weigh the results of the Anaheim hearing that will decide weather a city can regulate medical marijuana sales before making its decision on medical marijuana dispensaries in Oceanside.
Business entrepreneur Chris Richardson would like to open the first medical marijuana dispensary in Oceanside and anticipates Anaheim will support dispensaries and move him one step closer to starting a business.
“That money can stay in Oceanside,” Richardson said.
Currently those in need of medical marijuana need to travel to San Diego to reach the nearest dispensary.
If granted an OK to open a dispensary, Richardson vows to work with the city and police department to run the business by the rules. “It’s not the business bringing crime,” Richardson said. “It’s people. Individuals selling it out the back door make it hard on the rest of us.”

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